An electronic cigarette is an appliance that simulates tobacco smoking by heating a liquid solution to create vapor that the user inhales. The vapor typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. Some devices also allow the user to deliver cannabinoids and other drugs such as marijuana.
People who use e-cigarettes are often called “vapers.” E-cigarettes have grown in popularity in recent years. Currently, nearly one-quarter of high school and middle school students have used them. This has led to concerns about their effect on youth health and the possibility of e-cigarettes being a gateway drug to conventional cigarettes.
Studies to date have not shown that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco products. In fact, they may be worse for youth health because they contain nicotine, which is addictive. Youth who use e-cigarettes are at risk for long-term health effects such as harm to the brain and heart. These young people may also be more likely to become addicted to other drugs such as opioids.
Many factors can affect the health risks associated with e-cigarette use, including the nicotine content, the way the vapor is made and how it is used. The food and drug administration (FDA) regulates the sale of e-cigarettes, but there are many different products on the market. Some of them look very similar to a traditional cigarette and can have the same amount of nicotine. Other e-cigarettes have a much higher concentration of nicotine. The vapor from some of these e-cigarettes is irritating to the throat and can lead to lung damage, including scarring.
The e-liquids (e-juice) in e-cigarettes can contain dangerous chemicals. The vapor is not just water, but a mix of substances, including nicotine, heavy metals and chemicals such as diacetyl, which can cause a serious lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung. Nicotine can also harm the lungs, hurt brain development and raise blood pressure, narrow arteries and increase heart rate.
Research has also found that some e-cigarette flavors can help people quit smoking and improve their health. However, this benefit is likely dependent on the individual’s level of dependence on tobacco and the degree to which they have tried to quit using other nicotine replacement therapies. The FDA recommends that anyone who wants to stop vaping talk to a doctor. They can ask their provider about free quit resources, like online, texting and phone services or apps. They can also get support from friends and family and try other ways to stop vaping, like chewing sugar-free gum or lollipops or getting more exercise. They should also get rid of their e-cigarette supplies. 電子煙